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5 Russia River Cruise Reviews

Vodohod – MS Lev Tolstoy cruise – September 13 to September 24, 2016: We returned home last week and I have a need to write my comments without delay to let people know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather ... Read More
Vodohod – MS Lev Tolstoy cruise – September 13 to September 24, 2016: We returned home last week and I have a need to write my comments without delay to let people know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather and that we greatly appreciate everything Vodohod staffs did to ensure that everything was organized to perfection. Since we took several ocean cruises before, we were therefore not easy clients, but the company responded to all our queries and requests with speed, friendliness and efficiency. Our trip was wonderful and we continue to talk about our experiences often. We were very pleased with all aspects of the trip and enjoyed the boat very much such as Russian music, Russian lesson, dance and songs. We particularly enjoyed our tour guides- Katia & Gregory - they were all excellent. Our local drivers were also very good. The tour guide, Katia was knowledgeable and efficient and a lovely young person. The bad and cold weather contributed greatly to our overall excursion. I know the cruise staffs couldn't arrange the weather, but they arranged everything else and for that we thank them most warmly. We like to extend our appreciation to all local tour guides in Moscow, Uglich, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, Kizhi, Mandrogui to Saint Petersburg who were excellent, some were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They were very knowledgeable and professional. In addition they were engaging and willing to answer all of our questions. We enjoyed them all and found them very pleasant to travel with. We have traveled a great deal and had many guides over the years and found each of our guides on our trip to Russia were top quality. Despite the last day in Saint-Petersburg with light rain, they gave us an exciting day driving round Saint Petersburg and out to Pushkin and Pavlos for Catherine and Paul Palaces. The food served in the boat was excellent and different every time. The best plates for us were soups, salad, fish and chicken. We knew that beef and lamp might not be the best Russian plates. In the dinning room we like most was the crew dressed up differently almost every night which made the ambiance more cozy and exotic. Please extend our gratitude to Karina who had always smiled when serving us. It was a trip to remember and it was possible because our bus driver and local guide were so good and the Russian scenery was colorful, amazing and very exotic. We would agree to give four star ratings to the Vodohod organization, crew member, bus driver and tour guide, the places visited. However the accommodation was small and the shower was not very convenient for North American customers. Just a note to say thank Vodohod organization for the fantastic river cruise in September from Moscow to St Petersburg. We had an amazing time - enjoyed every minute of our trip. We are recommending the trip to all of our friends in Canada - they have our full endorsement! We will definitely contact Vodohod if we are planning another trip in near future. Two families Nguyen Montreal and Toronto Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We returned home last week and I have a need to write without delay to let you know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather and that we greatly appreciate everything you did to ensure that everything was organized ... Read More
We returned home last week and I have a need to write without delay to let you know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather and that we greatly appreciate everything you did to ensure that everything was organized to perfection. Since we took several ocean cruises before, we were therefore not easy clients, but you responded to all our queries and requests with speed, friendliness and efficiency. Our trip was wonderful and we continue to talk about our experiences often. We were very pleased with all aspects of the trip and enjoyed the boat very much such as Russian music, Russian lesson, dance and songs. We particularly enjoyed our tour guides- Katia & Gregory - they were all excellent. Our local drivers were also very good. The tour guide, Katia was knowledgeable and efficient and a lovely young person. The bad and cold weather contributed greatly to our overall excursion. I know you couldn't arrange the weather, but you arranged everything else and for that we thank you most warmly. We like to extend our appreciation to all local tour guides in Moscow, Uglich, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, Kizhi, Mandrogui to Saint Petersburg who were excellent, some were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They were very knowledgeable and professional. In addition they were engaging and willing to answer all of our questions. We enjoyed them all and found them very pleasant to travel with. We have traveled a great deal and had many guides over the years and found each of our guides on our trip to Russia were top quality. Despite the last day in Saint-Petersburg with light rain, they gave us an exciting day driving round Saint Petersburg and out to Pushkin and Pavlos for Catherine and Paul Palaces. The food served in the boat was excellent and different every time. The best plates for us were soups, salad, fish and chicken. We knew that beef and lamp might not be the best Russian plates. In the dinning room we like most was the crew dressed up differently almost every night which made the ambiance more cozy and exotic. Please extend our gratitude to Karina who had always smiled when serving us. It was a trip to remember and it was possible because our bus driver and local guide were so good and the Russian scenery was colorful, amazing and very exotic. We would agree to give four star ratings to the Vodohod organization, crew member, bus driver and tour guide, the places visited. However the accommodation was small and the shower was not very convenient for North American customers. Just a note to say thank you for the fantastic river cruise in September from Moscow to St Petersburg. We had an amazing time - enjoyed every minute of our trip. We are recommending the trip to all of our friends in Canada - you have our full endorsement! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a very positive experience on the Waterways of the Tsars river cruise, which is consistent with our prior cruises with Viking. First of all the level of service from the front desk to the restaurant workers to the shore excursion ... Read More
We had a very positive experience on the Waterways of the Tsars river cruise, which is consistent with our prior cruises with Viking. First of all the level of service from the front desk to the restaurant workers to the shore excursion staff and the cabin stewards were all top notch. These people could not do enough to make our trip comfortable and enjoyable. For example, during one shore excursion, front desk staff accompanied us to a small shopping area and brought our purchases back to our rooms for us so that we did not have to make a trip back to the ship before boarding our buses for the tour! The food at all 3 meals was excellent and very nicely presented, a nice blend of familiar favorites along with Russian regional specialties. Please try one (or all) of the homemade soups offered at lunch/dinner. These were especially delicious! The shore excursions were nicely paced and very interesting. To see examples of Russia's glorious architecture was spectacular. We had the good fortune of having 3 of the tour guides on board with us for the entire cruise; during "down" times, they gave Russian history presentations starting from the era of the tsars all the way to the present leader, Vladimir Putin. All well done. We do want to give a heads up to expect a lot of vehicular traffic in St. Petersburg and Moscow, especially at commuting times. It could take 45 minutes to an hour to reach the city centers. Also expect crowds at the most popular sites. For example, the included tour for the Hermitage required us to wait in line to enter (about 20 minutes) and once inside, it was so crowded we could not get close enough to any of the artifacts to see or take pictures. (Hint: If you purchase the optional tour to the Hermitage, you get to enter a couple of hours earlier thus beating the crowds). Also be aware that if you sign up for any of the optional boat tours, they operate rain or shine. We had signed up for the Moscow By Night excursion and was disappointed that the evening was cold and rainy. Not good conditions for sitting outside and seeing anything. All in all, it was a great trip and we are glad we went. Looking forward to our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our fifth cruise with Viking. We love them and, as usual, they did a great job. The trip began with several days in Moscow at the beginning and several in St. Petersburg at the end. In between, we sailed on rivers and canals ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Viking. We love them and, as usual, they did a great job. The trip began with several days in Moscow at the beginning and several in St. Petersburg at the end. In between, we sailed on rivers and canals through rural Russia. Moscow was neat. Seeing places like the Kremlin, St. Basil's, and Lenin's tomb was memorable. The night cruise on the Moscow River with the city all illuminated was a highlight. St. Petersburg is spectacular. It is dominated by the wide Neva River with palaces and government buildings on both sides. Catherine's Palace outside the city is a mini-Versailles and it is incredible to believe it was built twice: The original was destroyed in WWII and completely rebuilt. In between these two cities the sights were, generally, not as interesting. It took a while for us to accommodate to the fact that tourist infrastructure in Russia is simply not nearly as developed as in Western Europe. Whereas in France we sailed from one charming village to another, in Russia we stopped at ports which showed us what they had. And, in many cases that was another Russian Orthodox church. While many of these were really beautiful, after a while we were tired of learning the differences between 16th and 17th century Russian icons. But, it is what it is. This country is still emerging from decades of Soviet rule. Still, in the rural portion of the trip, there were some fascinating things to see, including the island of Kizhi (I recommend readers Google it.) Good souvenir shopping in Mandrogy. We, also, visited a Russian family and, through their translator daughter, heard first hand about life in the USSR and the difficult transition after 1989. They showed great resilience and have done fine. The Viking guides were great and we learned much about Russian history, cuisine, dance, etc., etc. They did extended lectures on the Soviet period, the fall of the USSR, and the last 25 years, including the current regime of Putin. I would have given this an Excellent rating if not for the middle portion of the trip which was not what we have enjoyed on other Viking cruises. But, that is not the fault of Viking, it is simply the current state of this formerly Communist nation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ... Read More
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ship itself is quite comfortable. (Not a space-ship), and, BALCONY CABIN adequate. Meals and service on board were of excellent standard, with drinks served for Lunch and Dinner. The staff were all very warming, friendly and dedicated, which helped create a relaxing atmosphere. Excursions, Concerts, Circus, Ballet, Cathedrals, Museums, Metro Subways etc. were all Highlights, and, very well organised throughout the cruise, with free time given. Once sailing, each village being Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi Is, and Mandrogi all have their own stories which are all interesting. Back on board it was time to relax and reminisce with fellow passengers, and staff. There were many fun activities for all. Vodka Tasting Session, Traditional Russian Doll making, Russian Language and Songs, Martryoshka painting class, and, Ice-Cream Parties to name a few over the 14 days. Each evening there was Live Music and Dancing with Surprise Entertainment the last night before arriving in St Petersburg, which was exceptional. To say what has been most enjoyed, would be difficult as the whole cruise was of high standard. Thanks to all involved for such wonderful memories to treasure. We continued on with Scenic to do the Baltic States Land Tour which has also been enjoyed by John (my husband) and myself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015

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